The manufacturing industry continues to face challenges as the year 2018 concludes. This is due to a variety of contributing factors, including a struggling economy, increasing tariffs, and an uncertain international political climate to start off the new year.
American Economic Staple Destabilizing
American manufacturing as a whole seems to have hit a rough patch in the previous twelve months, despite being a major contributor to the American economy. In the United States, the plastics industry is the third-largest manufacturing industry, and yet even this large sector has been struggling over the path twelve months. Large and small sectors alike are feeling the effects of the current economic and political climate; the tactical and service clothing manufacturing industry has had an average of $947 million annual revenue.
In the current state of affairs, manufacturing seems to be hurting across the board, with many smaller businesses unable to afford essential employees and equipment. Approximately 70% of all manufacturers have a compressed air system, but many may struggle to afford components necessary for safety. Additionally, even larger corporations are feeling the pressure of budgeting. With numbers like these, it’s hard not to see the struggles facing manufacturing as a whole in recent months.
Outlook Concerning As Year Ends
Recent events in the manufacturing industry overall have led to an unstable start for the new year. With job losses abound in manufacturing, many workers are uncertain about what the future may hold. Major players, such as General Motors, Ford, and many others, have attempted to reassure employees that jobs will be shifted rather than cut, but recent losses have left many employees doubtful that these are more than just empty platitudes.
Additionally, discussion of potential tariffs continues to make employers and manufacturers wary about the future. President Trump has stated that China’s plan to lower tariffs on U.S. cars to 15 percent doesn’t go far enough. This reassertion, combined with discussion among Congress about new tax legislation, threatens to harm American factory workers as a whole.
This recent tax legislation “prevents American jobs […] from moving overseas by eliminating incentives that now reward companies for shifting jobs […] and manufacturing plants abroad,” according to House Speaker Paul Ryan. However, a closer reading of the actual proposed legislation reveals that the opposite is, in fact, true. The legislation would make shifting of employment overseas easier, putting American factory workers in a difficult position.
Uncertain Futures In 2019
With the many factors contributing to the overall stress in the manufacturing industry, it is difficult to say where the industry as a whole is headed. Until proposed legislation is enacted or agreed upon, the financial direction the nation will take with regards to taxation and manufacturing remains uncertain. With so much currently in flux around the manufacturing industry, it is possible that the economy will take a turn in favor of manufacturing; however, this remains unlikely. As 2019 begins, the manufacturing industry continues to struggle, with the future of the sector hanging in the balance.
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